Bushwick‘s star continues to rise amongst fashionistas. Not only does the neighborhood have its own candle, but Vogue magazine just named it the 7th coolest neighborhood in the world. The article, which appears in the September issue, cites cutting-edge art galleries, “Jay Z–approved restaurants” like Roberta’s, and quirky pop-ups in unexpected spaces as some of the items drawing cool kids in. Centro in Sao Paolo, Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, and Brera in Milan are just a few of the other nabes that round out the top 15. Another silly list, yes, but the story does beg the question: Has Anna Wintour even been to Brooklyn?
From “coffices” to lab-like minimalist gourmet coffee meccas to cozy neighborhood hangouts, neighborhood cafes are a fine example of the essential “third place” mentioned in discussions of community dynamics: that place, neither work nor home, where regulars gather and everyone’s welcome.
Along with yoga studios, art galleries, community gardens, vintage clothing shops, restaurants with pedigreed owners and adventurous menus and, some say, a change in the offerings on local grocery shelves, cafes are often the earliest sign of neighborhood change. The neighborhood cafe serves as a testing ground for community cohesiveness while adventurous entrepreneurs test the still-unfamiliar waters around them. Beyond the literal gesture of offering sustenance, cafes provide a place where you can actually see who your neighbors are and appreciate the fact that at least some of them are willing to make an investment locally.
You may have scoffed at the $200 Hudson Yards fragrance released earlier this year, but this “smell like an up-and-coming neighborhood” trend seems to be catching on. NYC fashion brand OAK has just released a brand new candle that will fill your home up with the scent of Bushwick. Mmmmm?
Aptly titled ‘Mckibben + Bogart 03’ (named after the intersection of MckibbIn and Bogart), the candle was inspired by the neighborhood in the early 2000s and nods to the “wood, oil, paint thinner, incense, ICR vs Deth Killers of Bushwick and artist lofts that filled the area.” Scent highlights include “drying oil paint on canvases blended with incense, dry cedarwood chips, and dark gualac wood oil”. Are you sold? Get the candle over at OAK for $81.
[Via Bushwick Daily]
- The sultan of Brunei’s interest in the Plaza was all fluff, but the landmark hotel is still up for sale. The hotel will likely fetch $2B, but any deal will be extremely complicated given the current ownership structure. [NYT]
- Post-gentrifiers are upset with the post-post-gentrifiers that have driven Williamsburg’s prices sky high. [NYT]
- The George Washington Bridge Terminal is finally getting its long-awaited facelift. The station will be closed while the $183 million upgrade is undertaken. [NYT]
- Heritage Equity Partners’ Toby Moskovits talks about his conversion of St. Vincent De Paul Church in Williamsburg into a rental building. [Crain’s]
- A profile of the top investors backing NYC’s hottest real estate tech startups. [TRD]
- Brookfield‘s SOM-designed apartment tower near Hudson Yards has a new look. [Curbed]
The Plaza Hotel, image by Luxuo (left); St. Vincent De Paul Church in Williamsburg (right)
My wife and I took the kids to the Barclays Center in early 2013, during the Nets’ inaugural season in Brooklyn. There had been a lot of hype, not only about the Nets but also about the new arena. And there had been a lot of flack about both the Nets and the arena, respectively, as well. But after all the back and forth, over many years, both the stadium and the Nets were part of Brooklyn, and while we had been ambivalent observers during the whole imbroglio, we were anxious to check things out once matters were settled.
The arena impressed. Spacious corridors and lots of polished surfaces. Professional and courteous service. We roamed around each level, sampling food and drinks from some of Brooklyn’s finest eateries and breweries. And, of course, a stop at the gift shop was mandatory for the kids to purchase Nets gear which had become the unofficial uniform of Brooklyn’s youth. By the time we sat down in our seats, we were definitely on board with the whole Nets/Barclays thing. The pregame production turned out to be top notch, too: dancers, acrobats, a DJ named TJ, a knight-of-some-sort who shot t-shirts into the crowd, and a super-stylish MC definitely on point, ratcheting the crowd into a pseudo-frenzy (it was only a mid-season game against Atlanta after all). And when the lights dimmed, and the music loomed, it was on for real: through the loud speakers came a familiar voice, smooth and deep, informed by a trademark flow…
“Welcome to Brooklyn, y’all…”
Oh my good-ness! That’s Jay-Z!
“Birthplace of Michael Jordan.”
Chinese Property Company Taps Fortress Investment Group for $165M for the Oosten Williamsburg Condos, Wed, June 11, 2014
Back in 2012, Chinese company Xinyuan Real Estate Co. purchased a $54.2 million, 92,000-square-foot, Kent Ave. site in Williamsburg for its first development in the U.S. — which they said, of course, would be slated for a luxury condo building. Now it looks like their dev team is ready to kick it into high gear and Xinyuan has enlisted the help of Fortress Investment Group in the form of a $165 million loan. An interestingly enough, the project is the beautiful Oosten condo development designed by Dutch architect Piet Boon.
It’s become all too common in New York City — artists move into a neighborhood, make it trendy and culturally vibrant, and then are forced out by rising rents. It happened in Greenwich Village, Soho, the East Village, DUMBO, and Williamsburg. Do not be disheartened, though, there are still plenty of artist enclaves with thriving creative communities. Ahead are our ten current frontrunners — some may surprise you!
David Foster Wallace is credited with predicting way back in the mid-90s that excessive irony would lead to the ruin of our culture. Around that same time, Alanis Morissette had her own far less erudite and flawed take on irony, which went a little something like this:
“It’s like rain on your wedding day
A free ride when you already paid
Some good advice that you just didn’t take…”
With all due respect to the prescience of DFW, life for me — at least these days in my Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens — far more resembles Alanis Morissette’s screwy version of irony.
6sqft’s Andrew Cotto — an author of two novels and a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Men’s Journal, and Salon.com — will be sharing his experiences as he makes his way around New York City. This week, he describes life in Carroll Gardens.
If it seems like Starbucks and Duane Reade are colonizing the streets of New York City, there’s now photographic proof. A new series from shutterbugs James and Karla Murray looks at the rapidly changing face of Gotham’s storefronts and — no surprise — they’re getting more corporate.
Gone are the colorful mom-and-pop signage the Murrays shot just a decade ago for their book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. In their place? Fast food franchises, banks, and high-end boutiques.